Rescue Home for Books

As I’ve said before, I like books. Actual printed books. Preferably previously owned. I like having them on my shelves. I like organizing them so they can have nice neighbors. I like carefully lending them to people I really like and trust, and also love books.

I like proving a good home for all my books (unless they are truly terrible, and then I just find someone willing to take them, sorry, Cum Laude), and sometimes that means re-binding or wrapping them up in those plastic thingies. Particularly paperbacks. Particularly books I am prone to throw into my already-too-big bag and take it with me everywhere (I’m looking at you, HP). Since my mother majored in Languages and has a TON of books, she taught me how to protect them when I was little. Basic stuff. Just cross your fingers some bubbles don’t magically appear somehow, and you’ll be fine.

I had lots of fun doing that as a kid (and still do), but one thing that I’ve kept with me is that she taught me to fold the corners cutting off a triangle and generally making it look weird. Case in point, my poor thrift shop “The Mummy“:

No bubbles!

No bubbles!

Inside corners, mom’s style.

And why is that remotely interesting? Around the same time, I’d ordered another Anne Rice book, also former thrift shop resident, “Memnoch the Devil” (I was going through an Anne Rice fase — as in I’d sit and read the first half of every novel she wrote, then sit it down and never open it again). It was fancier. Its previous owner was thoughtful enough to wrap it himself. And take a look how well it resisted:

A treasure amongst second hand shops: a well-kept book!

A treasure amongst second hand shops: a well-kept book!

See? Yellow-ed, but well-kept. Notice the corners. Squared.

I was so amazed at how well it had been treated that ’till this day, whenever I wrap a book, I do the square corners and congratulate Memnoch‘s previous owner.

His/Her's signature was obstructed by the shop's stamp :( But he/she is remembered.

His/Her’s signature was obstructed by the shop’s stamp :(
But he/she is remembered.

I know it may seem silly to some people. But isn’t it nice to think maybe your book will not only have a second (and third, and fourth) life but a little bit of you (perhaps a habit) will carry through?

If not that, than at least I hope my books will survive time as well as Memnoch. Also, I’ve once catalogued all my books in Before Previous Memnoch’s Owner and After PMO. (Long vacations.)

Today I wraped “Will Grayson , Will Grayson“.

New and shiny.

New and shiny.

Squared corners. Pro.

Squared corners. Pro.

Strangely, this whole paranoia with books’ covers began when I lent one to a friend who I didn’t know was veery carefree about books. It came back with the cover all hurt and dog-eared. I was appalled, tried to conceal just how much from her. I fixed it up with black marker and iron, then sealed it for eternity and ever since have been doing background checks before I lend books to anyone. Hah.

What about you? Any weird habits to protect your books? Or are you a hippie book-owner? (;

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